2019: Lacawac Artists' Residency
Lacawac Sanctuary & Biological Field Station
In August 2019, I had the privilege of working in the pristine natural beauty of the Poconos at the Lacawac Sanctuary & Biological Field Station, in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, as an artist in residence. I continued making nocturnes (nighttime paintings), using my daytime source photos and direct observation of the night. I also did some plein air painting on the property and had some fun with my family. I made a short video about my experience there.
2019: Artists in Action Program
Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
In February 2019, I set up my studio in the Main Gallery at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center in Dowell, Maryland, as part of the Artists in Action residency program. I spent the week talking with visitors and using my daytime source photos to create nighttime paintings. In cinema it’s a technique called “day for night”—some filmmakers shoot their night scenes at dawn or dusk and change the exposure to simulate night. Just over 100 years ago, American artist Frederic Remington used this technique to create a dramatic series of nocturne paintings. Remington observed the outdoors at night extensively but painted in his studio, transposing daytime paintings and and photographs into nocturnes. And that is what I tried to do as well.
In January and February 2020 I experimented with monoprinting using Golden Open Acrylics. I enjoyed the unpredictable and technically complex artmaking process. First I painted a loose image onto a plexiglass plate. Next I pressed paper into the wet paint and peeled it off to reveal the print. Then I worked into the still-wet print with brushes, traditional heavy body acrylic paint, and other tools to finish the artwork.
In July 2019 I made daily non-representational paintings. Frankly, I needed a reason to get myself into the studio after a long break. Each of these paintings began with bits of painted paper glued to the canvas, and then I invited myself to respond to those shapes and colors.
In January 2019 I made daily images using hand-painted papers, found papers, origami paper, and magazines, and I focused on something near and dear to my heart: pet dogs. My 30 Days of Dogs project was a way to observe and cherish my own elderly lab mix. Pets simply do not live long enough, especially considering how much space they occupy in our hearts. Working in collage for this series and using bits of ephemera for the images seemed appropriate. The work is neither precious nor archival. It can be loved and enjoyed for a time, and then it, too, will pass on. Thus, my lighthearted, playful artwork about dogs is also about love and mortality.
2018: Digital Photos
In September 2018 I made 30 daily photographs using my iPod camera. All of the photos were square format, not filtered or edited in any way, and taken in my home and around my community, I used this month to take a close look at the things nearest to me.
In January 2018 I created 30 daily paintings. I set flowers up in my kitchen and did all of my painting downstairs in my studio, working only from my own recollection and my sketches. During the project I noticed how much I rely upon sketches to remove me from the motif and organize my thoughts about the composition. It reinforced how important preliminary drawings are to my finished work.
2017: Value Studies
In January 2017 I created 30 daily paintings. I made a small value study each day using only titanium white and one other color. I chose to used burnt sienna, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue because they are colors artists often use for underpainting. Typically I lean heavily on color in my artwork, so this month I asked the question: can I make strong, effective images without color?
In January 2016 I created 30 daily paintings. All of the paintings were based on my memory of a grove of pine trees not far from my home. As the month progressed, my memories and impressions changed, and the project surprised me by becoming less about trees and more about the way human memory functions.